In the Beginning

Written by Jody Cullison

The Wolf Family in America began in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was here on August 8, 1769 at St. Michaels and Zion church that Eve Catherine Crebs became the bride of Andrew Wolf. (Variations of the surname include Wolf, Wolfe, Woolf and Wolff.) (Pennsylvania Archives. Second Series, Vol. 9, p. 349. records of St. Michaels and Zion Church, Philadelphia) The Marriage license shows Crebs misspelled Criles (and it has more spellings than has Wolf in the family, among them being Crebbs, Krebs, Kribs, Cribbs, Griggs, etc.).

Eve Catherine was said to have been confirmed at the New Hanover Church on April 8, 1750, but I was unable to document this as fact.

Andrew [the progenitor of most of the Wolfs in Don's database] came to America on the passenger ship HERO, sailing from Rotterdam, last from Cowes, which qualified at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 27, 1764. He signed the abjuration list by making his mark (X). This meant that his name was actually written in by someone else and they wrote Andreas Wolff (Strassburger and Hinke, "Pennsylvania German Pioneer," Vol. 1, p. 697).

Records show he paid L15 for his passage. One note of interest, I was unable to find another record in that time frame of the HERO ever making another voyage to America.

Doctor Andrew Wolf, son of Christopher Wolf and grandson of Andrew, was the authority for the statement that his grandfather, for whom he was named, came to America soon after "becoming of age" (21), which would make his birth year 1743. (History of the Hocking Valley. 1883)

It is uncertain exactly when the young couple came west to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, but it can be surmised that Andrew and his growing pioneer family did not have an easy life on the frontier of their new country. Andrew, himself saw Revolutionary War service and was called on to take part in skirmishes with the Indians around the countryside. Indians were a constant worry to settlers, who sometimes banded together to petition the governor for help.

One such petition, signed by Andrew Wolff, Lot Darling, George Helbingar, and others, dated 1774, endorsed "Fort Shippin at John Proctor's Esq.'s" asking for protection from Indian depredations. (Pennsylvania Archives, 1st Series; also, Caldwell's history of Indiana County, 1880, p. 138) Petitions of the inhabitants of Westmoreland and Ohio counties in Pennsylvania, people of the the border counties assembles and petitioned the governor, John Penn, setting forth there was a great reason to apprehend that the country would again be immediately involved in all the horrors of an Indian war: that their circumstances at the time were truly alarming, "Our houses abandoned to pillage; labor and industry entirely at a standstill; our crops destroyed by cattle; our flocks dispersed; the minds of our people distracted with the terrors of falling along with the helpless and unprotected families, the immediate victims of savage barbarity, in the miidst of these scenes of desolation and ruin, next to the Almighty, we look to your honor, hoping from your known benevolence and humanity, such protection and relief as your honor shall meet."

During the Revolution, Andrew Wolff is noted as a private in the Continental Line on page 308, 5th Series, Vol. 8, Pennsylvania Archives. He is also recorded as a member of the Pennsylvania Militia, 1791, on page 663, 6th Series, Vol. 5. With this entry is a note by him and others: "We, the undersigned subscribers, doi acknowledge to have received of Charles Campbell, the sum annexed to our names for our services as rangers on the frontier, $1.00."

Three other listings of his service are found in the Pennsylvania Archives on p. 124, Series 5, Vol. 6, he is listed in 5th Company, 2nd class, first battalions of cumberland County Militia, march 1, 1782. A class roll of Captain Samuel Rogers' Company (being the 5th) of the first Battalions of cumberland County Militia includes him on August 16, 1780. One page 89, Series 5, Vol. 6, in the division of public records, Pennsylvania State Library C, he is listed among soldiers who received depreciation pay as per canceled certificates.

Andrew Wolf seems to have lived in Derry Township of Westmoreland county, where he appears on various tax lists. but a number of his children were baptized at Zion Church or Herolds (also spelled Harrolds) Church as it was known. later he lived in Black Lick Township of what later was Indiana County (or perhaps is was the same place, but township boundaries had changed). A tax list of Westmoreland County for 1783 shows Andrew in Armstrong Township (this is what would later be Black Lick Township), having one tract of land. (Pennsylvania Archives, 3rd Series, volume 22). Westmoreland County deed book entry in Survey Book D, Volume 90, p. 2, shows a land grant to Andrew Wolf dated March 21, 1786 for 183-3/4 acres on the south side of Black Lick Creek in Armstrong Township, Wesmoreland County, PA. He died there in 1803.

SOURCE: The Wolf Family [1743-1997]. Compiled by Clara Joan (Shafer) Cullison. July 1997. Ohio.

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